COLOMBO Dec 14 Sri Lankan shares closed at
their lowest in two weeks on Wednesday as foreign investor
outflows and losses in blue chips led by market heavyweight John
Keells Holdings Plc weighed on sentiment.
The Colombo stock index closed 0.4 percent weaker at
6,299.01, its lowest close since Nov. 30.
"There was a lot of foreign activities, which boosted the
day's turnover. We will not see any sentimental change until the
next year," said Prashan Fernando, CEO at Acuity Stockbrokers.
Foreign investors sold a net 556.1 million rupees ($3.75
million) worth of shares on Wednesday, with the year-to-date net
foreign inflow in shares declining to 469.9 million rupees.
Turnover was 1.19 billion rupees ($8.02 million), higher
than this year's daily average of 750.3 million rupees.
Investors were concerned over proposed increases in various
taxes and fees in the 2017 budget, which was passed on Saturday,
that would reduce disposable income and challenge
consumption-led growth, brokers said.
The government aims to boost its 2017 tax revenue by 27
percent to 1.82 trillion rupees year-on-year to meet a
commitment given to the International Monetary Fund in return
for a $1.5 billion loan in May.
Shares of John Keells Holdings Plc fell 1.36 percent, while
top fixed line phone operator Sri Lanka Telecom lost
($1 = 148.3000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Biju